Utah - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Utah


A land of extremes, Utah holds a special appeal for outdoor enthusiasts, encompassing a wide variety of landscapes and fascinating geological formations that offer unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation. Most of the state is situated on a plateau above 4,000ft (1,219m), but the elevations rise and fall spectacularly across snow-covered mountains and deep river canyons. The most significant sights and attractions have been formed by the dramatic forces of nature, creating ruggedly beautiful, multicoloured canyons, eroded rock sculptures, red desert plains, forested mountains and snow-capped peaks. Southern Utah has five breathtaking national parks, including Zion and Bryce Canyon, which draw the most visitors, but the lesser-known parks are just as spectacular.

The Anglo settlement of Utah began with the arrival of the Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake area in 1847, led by Brigham Young. Today more than 70 percent of the population belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, congregants of which are known as the Mormons. The Mormon heritage defines the state's modern culture and many perceive Utah as a region stuck in a time warp due to the strong church influence, emphasis on family values, and a notoriously strict attitude regarding the drinking of alcohol. But the people are friendly and unpretentious, the crime rate is low and there are many beautiful places of interest to visit.

Salt Lake City is a modern metropolis regarded as one of the top business environments in the country, as well as being the spiritual hub of the Mormon religion, home to the sacred Temple and the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Its proximity to the Wasatch Mountains makes it a popular base for winter and summer outdoor recreation, and nearby resorts like Park City, Sundance and Snowbird offer superb powder snow and Olympic-class skiing.

Information & Facts


Utah has plenty of sunshine and low humidity. The Utah climate is semiarid to arid, depending on the region, and most of the state is at a high elevation. Snowfall is common statewide, except in the Great Salt Lake Desert and at the southern border. The lower altitudes usually experience snow from November to March, while the higher altitudes experience snow from October to May, with snow cover on the mountains sometimes continuing until July. The Wasatch Mountains usually experience good snow, making the area's ski resorts popular with winter outdoor sport enthusiasts. Summer temperatures in Utah are usually about 79°F (26°C), with winter temperatures around 30°F (-1°C). In the north, spring is usually the wettest season, while summer and fall are the wettest further south. Most of the mountainous areas experience more rain in winter. Sporadic thunderstorms, caused by monsoons, can occur during summer and fall, creating flash floods and wildfires.

English is the most common language but Spanish is often spoken in south-western states.

The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

GMT -7 (GMT -6 from March to November).
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